Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 362–371 | Cite as

Nuclear Factor (Erythroid-Derived 2)-Like-2 Factor (Nrf2), a Key Regulator of the Antioxidant Response to Protect Against Atherosclerosis and Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

  • Anisha A. Gupte
  • Christopher J. Lyon
  • Willa A. Hsueh
Macrovascular Complications in Diabetes (PD Reaven, Section Editor)


Tissue oxidative stress is a common hallmark of atherosclerosis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), 2 conditions linked epidemiologically and pathophysiologically. Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) is the master regulator of inducible antioxidant responses, that can attenuate cellular injury from oxidative stress induced by obesity and other redox insults. Nrf2 expression and activation is reduced in mouse and human vessels that harbor accelerated atherosclerosis and in livers with histologic criteria of NASH. Systemic antioxidants have thus been attractive therapeutic targets, but clinical trials have been largely unsuccessful in improving cardiovascular health. Macrophage-selective Nrf2 activation may, however, provide an approach to reduce vascular and hepatocyte injury without the complications of systemic antioxidants, since macrophages play key roles in the development and progression of both atherosclerosis and NASH. In this article, we review the common mechanisms of oxidative stress and inflammation in atherosclerosis and NASH, and discuss the role of Nrf2 in vascular and hepatocyte protection.


Nrf2 Oxidative stress Atherosclerosis Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis NASH 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anisha A. Gupte
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Lyon
    • 1
  • Willa A. Hsueh
    • 1
  1. 1.The Methodist Diabetes and Metabolism Institute, Center for Diabetes Research in The Methodist Hospital Research InstituteWeill Cornell Medical CollegeHoustonUSA

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